Nov 28, 2020 08:00am
What You Need to Protect During the Holidays

I’m guessing your list of things to do each day has grown longer lately.

With the fun of the holidays also comes the fuss, so we all go a little crazy this time of year. And if you’re like me, when the extra things pile up, something’s gotta give.

Whether we use paper plates instead of ones that require washing or dig through a laundry basket of clean clothes instead of finding them in our drawers, I find ways to make more time, because I can’t keep up with it all!

But I’ve noticed one thing I tend to drop that causes more suffering than support . . . those quiet morning moments. 

The ones before sunrise and before the rest of my crew’s eyes open. The ones where I linger with the One who brought the celebration.

The truth is, when I’m tired, I’m more likely to slap the alarm, snuggle back under the sheets and assure myself I need to sleep.

I’m really good at reasoning, too. 

It’s better for everyone if I’m rested. 

I’m more patient and kind and gentle. 

I handle surprises better. 

All in all, I’m a better me if I sleep.

But through trial and error, I’ve learned that is, in fact, not the case.

Last year we built a flower box. And by we, I mean my husband, a hammer and some dirt (along with eager helpers ready to do anything necessary with dirt and/or a hammer).

During construction, Luke took measures to keep out weeds. Knowing how weeds compete with, and can even destroy a flower garden, Luke spread out a preventative shield to block light from feeding the unwanted weeds.

It worked well for a while, but over time, what do you know? Weeds poked out. One step wasn’t enough. The flower box required regular attention to block out and keep out weeds.

“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” Proverbs 4:23 (NLT)

If, even for just a season, we let our hearts go unattended, we risk unwanted intruders. 

When we intend for the beauty of a peaceful heart to grow, we feed worry or fear instead. 

When we plant love, yet forget to care for its soil, we find impatience or selfishness shooting out.

My own efforts to bless others fall short when my agenda trumps my availability to seek God. I’ve learned it’s better for everyone when I’m with Jesus

I’m more patient and kind and gentle. I handle surprises better. I’m a better me . . . when I’m with Jesus.

During this extra busy time of year, take measures to protect your heart. Commit to those times with Jesus. Feed your heart God’s truth.

What is one way you can protect your heart from distraction and confusion and keep your heart focused on Christ this season?

Copyright © 2020 by Katy McCown @ Used with permission. No part of this article may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from